Kristin Danielson; Returning to earth

(Image credit: Larry Hanelin)

By Steve Medcroft

Re-entering any sport after a three-year hiatus is never easy. But based on previous success and for the love of her husband, Kristin Danielson is doing just that in 2006, racing for the Velo Bella/Kona mountain bike team. To overcome those first-race jitters, she toed the line at Sea Otter to see if she can recapture her winning ways on the dirt.

It's surprising to hear 25 year-old Coloradoan Kristin Danielson say she's nervous about her upcoming reintroduction into mountain bike racing at the Sea Otter Classic last week. The Cyclingnews diarist has twice earned the collegiate national cross-country championship and was also the NORBA National Series champion in the Expert category.

But for the past three seasons, Danielson only raced once on the dirt, spending her seasons instead as part of the T-Mobile-sponsored U.S. women's development road team and Basis. Signed with Velo Bella/Kona for 2006, Danielson says she'd coming back to mountain biking for 'a lot of reasons'.

First of all, she says that she's looking for a less stressful athletic career; to come down from the constant intensity of road racing. The second reason is that the less-demanding mountain-bike schedule opens the door for her to spend more time with ProTour husband Tom Danielson.

"Living apart during the season is a huge challenge," she says. "In road racing, I was required to do a full 50 days of racing. With Velo Bella/Kona, I have more flexibility." Which means she'll have the time to take in a race or two based out of the couple's Girona, Spain home and the freedom to cheer on her husband in the upcoming Tour de Georgia (April 18-23).

Read the entire Kristin Danielson interview.

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